Vaccinium arboreum Marsh.

  • Family: Ericaceae
  • Common names: farkleberry, sparkleberry.

    Shrub or small tree to 8 m (25 ft) tall. Crown irregular. Bark gray-brown to gray. Twigs light brown, dark brown or gray, glabrous or puberulous. Leaves alternate, simple, evergreen to semipersistent; oval, obovate, or elliptic, 2.5-7.5 cm (1-3 in) long and about 2.5 cm (1 in) wide; leathery, glabrous, paler in color beneath; cuneate at base, acute or rounded at apex, margins entire or somewhat dentate; petioles short. Flowers in axillary racemes about 1.3 cm (0.5 in) long; flowers urceolate (bell-shaped), 5-toothed; petals 5, white-pink; styles 1; stamens 10; flowers appear from May to June. Fruits globose berries about 8 mm (0.3 in) in diameter, black, with many seeds; fruits mature August to December.

    Distribution: Texas and Oklahoma, east to Virginia, south to Florida, west to Louisiana. Common in eastern Oklahoma.
    Habitat: rocky slopes and woodlands.
    NWI status: FACU.
    Comments: Vaccinium is the classical name for blueberries; arboreum refers to its tree-like appearance.
    Field identification: The latest flowering blueberry. Fruits are rather tasteless.
    Wildlife benefits: Fruits are eaten by numerous bird species.
    Medicinal uses: A root bark extract is used to treat diarrhea.
    Economic uses: Farkleberry bark is used for leather tanning and the wood for making tool handles.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/22/99
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